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Radiocarbon dating and religion

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Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.

Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.

Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved.

"Either you do the work or you get the credit" Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.

Outside of the Bible the Sudarium is first mentioned in 570 AD by Antoninus of Piacenza, who writes that the Sudarium was being cared for in a cave near the monastery of Saint Mark, in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

The Sudarium is presumed to have been taken from Palestine in 614 AD, after the invasion of the Byzantine provinces by the Sassanid Persian King Khosrau II.

Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.

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In a separate article (Radiometric dating), we sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques.

Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.

Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.

The electronics, computers and communications industries, power engineering and much of the chemical industry of today were founded on discoveries made possible by the battery.

Pioneers It is often overlooked that throughout the nineteenth century, most of the electrical experimenters, inventors and engineers who made these advances possible had to make their own batteries before they could start their investigations. the World was starting to emerge from the Stone Age. C., Mesopotamians (from modern day Iraq), who had already been active for hundreds of years in primitive metallurgy extracting metals such as copper from their ores, led the way into the Bronze Age when artisans in the cities of Ur and Babylon discovered the properties of bronze and began to use it in place of copper in the production of tools, weapons and armour.

They did not have the benefit of cheap, off the shelf, mass produced batteries. Bronze is a relatively hard alloy of copper and tin, better suited for the purpose than the much softer copper enabling improved durability of the weapons and the ability to hold a cutting edge.

For many years the telegraph, and later the telephone, industries were the only consumers of batteries in modest volumes and it wasn't until the twentieth century that new applications created the demand that made the battery a commodity item. The use of bronze for tools and weapons gradually spread to the rest of the World until it was eventually superceded by the much harder iron.

Background We think of a battery today as a source of portable power, but it is no exaggeration to say that the battery is one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind.

Volta's pile was at first a technical curiosity but this new electrochemical phenomenon very quickly opened the door to new branches of both physics and chemistry and a myriad of discoveries, inventions and applications.

As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.

Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades.